I absolutely hate wearing name tags! In fact, every time I’m asked to wear one, I usually put it in a not so obvious place. I don’t know why name tags bug me so much, but they just do.
Name tags make me think about one of my favorite movie quotes- it comes from the 1974 parody film, Blazing Saddles: “Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!” Every time I attend an event that requires me to wear a name tag, I say that line under my breath. And if I think that the people around me will laugh, I’ll say it loud enough so they are sure to hear it. I guess it’s just my passive-aggressive way of rebelling against the idea of labeling myself with a particular group.
Funny thing about name tags and badges- whenever you put one on you are immediately labeled and identified by what it represents. In other words, you’re saying, “I’m with this group, and I believe in what they stand for.” At least that’s my take on it.
I recently attended an event that required me to wear a name tag, and on that name tag was proudly displayed the logo of the organization that was holding the event. And if I’m being completely honest, the fact that the logo was so prominent just made me not want to wear the name tag even more. I tried my best to find the most inconspicuous place to put the name badge; I eventually wound up tying it to my backpack. After basically trying to hide my badge, I began to think to myself, “If I feel like I have to hide the name badge then what does that say about the event that I’m attending?” Frankly, it says that the event and its sponsoring organization are not something that I believe in, nor do I want to be identified with its members.
Here’s the lesson that I learned from that experience: If you don’t believe in what an organization stands for, then you should have the fortitude to be honest about it.
Leaders: It’s incredibly important to believe wholeheartedly in the mission of the organization that you belong to. If you don’t believe in it, then maybe you need to go.
Followers: It’s incredibly important to believe in the leaders that are in authority over you, as well as the organization they represent. If you don’t have full confidence in one or both, then it could be time for you to move on.
If you lack confidence in the group whose badge you wear, then you’re not being honest. In fact, you’re leading people on and wasting their time. Maybe it’s time to stop playing games, pull off the badge, and move on.
Does this strike a nerve in you?
Think about it.